Thursday, February 26, 2015

Joy, Peace, Happiness= Gospel

Hey hey! First things first, my dearest uncle Nate, happy birthday! I still feel bad that you didn't get to go swimming after my eagle project. But it seems you got over it. Thanks.  AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to little superman aka Ben be jamin!

Zone conference yesterday! Sorry for the delay! Now let me tell you about our week here in the balmy 75 degrees, with rain finishing us out. So, here we begin, Tuesday, we have 16 people that we are going to visit, not one is home, not one. Some addresses didn't even exist. And the hill we had to bike up was like 3100 except 2 miles long. So I was, for some odd reason, very frustrated. 

Well we forgot about that, then the next day Wednesday, we had two set lessons and a dinner, all three called and canceled within like 15 minutes. Another bummer, we shake it off, and move on, Thursday I teach district meeting, it started out rocky but by the end God had mercy on me and I was able to help them, according to them. 

After that we tried to find more people to teach. Friday, my stress levels were so high that my neck hurt and I could barely turn my head. We had to set up the baptism and I've never done it before, the bishop is gone on
vacation, the ward mission leader is new and this was his first baptism so he didn't know, and then to top it off, I had people telling me that I was "making up" the program and that I needed to reconsider, then following that they took me to the handbook and found that I hadn't done anything wrong and they quickly apologized and asked what they could do to help. I was a little stung that they took me to the handbook but I did learn from it so it was good for me. 


Then that night I have nightmares that Matthew doesn't show up and in retribution the Baptism elves drowned me in the font constantly chanting "you failed you failed you failed" it was not a fun dream. Well we wake up and go to where we were going to wait for Matthew, and we wait, and wait and wait, 45 minutes after the set time he comes, and then, everything went perfect, no hitches, everything was ready, except that me, making a rookie mistake didn't bring a change of underwear, you could say the ride home was uncomfortable. And the water was ice. But hey, a small price for no sins. 

Same thing with taking the Sacrament every week. It's a small thing if your tired or you had a bad morning or your hair is bad or your kids are loud or the football game is on or you have had a rough week, very small indeed when you consider all the sins you committed that week being washed away. Just something to think about! Anyway the baptism went really well, and so did the confirmation the next Sunday. It was wonderful, and I finally FINALLY got to know what it was like to feel the joy of one soul coming to Christ, and it truly is great! When he came out of that freezing water and smiled the bad week stayed in the water for me too. He was so prepared and I thank our Loving Heavenly Father for choosing me to be one of the instruments in Matthews conversion, Matthew told me "thanks for pulling me out of the muck" it was nice, but I sure didn't pull him out, he pulled himself out, I just got to watch as he followed the Spirit. It was wonderful! Thanks for all the prayers in Matthews behalf, please make sure to thank Heavenly Father!!

We also had a zone conference yesterday and that went well, we had lots of prayers answered and some concerns resolved and the best part was, there was no peanut butter at lunch! I nearly cried. This is what I learned:

"Some frustrations we must endure without really solving the problem. Some things that ought to be put in order are not put in order because we cannot control them. Things we cannot solve, we must survive"

Oh my dearest family and friends, this Gospel is so true, Christ is the Redeemer, God loves us. We can change, anyone who says they can't has not asked for the enabling power of the Atonement. I was a witness to a huge miracle this week, a son of our loving Heavenly Father joined the fold. I thank our God for letting me be his instrument, I wish with all my heart all the people of the world could have seen that baptism. Please please I beg of you do not quit, do not turn away, we are doing a great work and cannot come down, there is always hope and there is always Christ, please please, my heart breaks every time someone rejects Christ's invitation, I wish they could know, they could really know there is something better. It is so much sweeter than those worldly things, those things do. Not. Matter. They do not bring real joy, and they NEVER last. But we know how to find true happiness, and we know how to get there, so please, please, please keep pushing, I cannot imagine anything worse than my friends or family turning away, and if I can't, imagine how Heavenly Father feels. Please endure. Matthew just left the world because he could see where true happiness is. Don't test it, take his word for it. I love
you all! I pray for you all every single day every second! Carry on carry on carry on!

Elder Rollins

P.S never forget underwear....never.


Tell me all about the Baptism.  It was super good! The water was really cold, and I almost dropped
him, but we survived.

How is Kai doing?  Still excited?  Still moving forward? He is doing really well! He is a happy camper that kai guy!

Is your ward supportive of these new converts?  Yes, they are wonderful!

How is the companion?  Adapting ok?  Has his Visa come through?  Do they know how long it will take? Doing well, yea, no, no idea.

Did you get some new shirts? Yes

Did you get some good lessons in this week? Not really, other than kai.

What did you teach about in District Meeting? Using technology to teach.

When did you feel the spirit this week? The Baptism!!!

How is your health? Excellente

How is your mental health? Still broken as always

Are you still laughing? Of course, in fact sister Kohnle "Grandma" told me I is the funniest guy she has met in 64 years. It was a good day!

Do you know that we love you? Yes mother


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hilarity

Hi!
Hope everybody's week went wonderfully whimsically well!

So I hear it is Lauren's and Sara's birthdays this week, I wish you both wonderful birthdays! Hope you get some good gifts!

This week was long, but that is every week, so it was a good week. I am rather tired, but that is a good. We didn't do anything to exciting really. We had a lesson with Matthew and he is super excited to get baptized. I am very excited for him and can't wait for this weekend so that he can make that covenant. The lesson was very spiritual and at the end I told him he was the miracle I had been praying for. He is one solid guy!

Also we had lesson with Kai guy, he is doing well and still on track for his baptismal date, he is also excited and is all smiles! Bragging to ward members about his baptism. He cracks me up.

The rest of the week, we were contacting, and it was not fun. At all. We got rejected 53 times in about an hour and 15 minutes. But it was fun, I had to hold my tongue from tearing into people for telling me what I believed and how I was wrong and that they were saved. But I held it together, and waited till I was home to explode. I then went on like a twenty minute rant. About all the excuses we had heard. I was so confused on how they could be so foolish, how they couldn't see, I was so mad at these people. Stuck in their worldly pride. Thinking that because they have money they have joy. THAT HAPPINESS DOES NOT LAST!!!! Do not fall into that trap. I want you to imagine that everything you have is gone, and you are standing in front of God and Jesus Christ. And all you have is what you have done, would you feel comfortable? Would you even be able to look them in the eye? Or would you hide? Satan will tell you you are "ok" where you are, you are drinking, that's ok as long as you're thinking about being a good person. Breaking news, Satan is a LIAR, he does. not. care. He wants your soul as a trophy, to say to Heavenly Father "look what I have taken from you" then he will throw you away. This is not an idle gospel, it is a gospel of spiritual stretching and pulling and changing. So use it. It's use it or lose it.

Ok, I'm off the soapbox. Had to get that off my chest.

So a funny experience. This very very drunk man came up to us and told us "you're messing with the devil!" And I was in a bad mood, so imagine lots of sarcasm. I had to repent later.

Me: oh is that so?
Drunk: ya, and you had better watch out.
Me: mmhmm we will do that. (Continues locking up bike)
Drunk: YOU STUPID JEHOVAHS!
Me: actually, We aren't JWs.
Drunk: well what are you then?
Me: Mormons sir. (Quoting president Monson)
Drunk:that's even worse! Your church never gave me help.
Me: is that right? Did you ask for it?
Drunk: no
Me: well, i can't see why they didn't help you. We are going to go,
good luck. (Walking away)
Then he starts yelling about how he is going to kill us yada yada yada
We had a good laugh.

So moral of the story, don't drink. The end.

Crazy to see the difference between people I talk to, and Matthew and kai.

It's still true! And I still love you!


Elder Rollins

How many languages are in your mission? 7,  Probably more
So are you in elder Browns zone?  Yes,
How many zones in the mission? 6 English, don't know about other languages,
How many districts in your zone?  like 5,
Is Matthews baptism the 21st?  yes,
Take lots of pictures!  ok,
Are there a bunch of African Americans in your ward?  no not really,
So do you have district meeting every week?  Yes, except for zone meeting week, and that was this week.
What did you teach about this week?  So I taught nothing.
How long do your meetings typically last? 90 minutes
So how has your testimony been strengthened this week?  I prayed to have it strengthened that is how.
How is Matthew?  Wonderful!
You mentioned he has family.  Does he have a wife and children? No he is single.
How old is Kai? 24ish
How is your companion?  Good.  Is he learning quickly? Yes.  Is he homesick? No.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Daddy District Care

Hola hermanos y hermanas!

I seem to recall a birthday of a cousin dear to my heart, the one and only Kassie! A little advice to you from me:
-Boys have cooties avoid at all costs
-Don't freak out
-Smile
-Be happy
-Laugh
That should get you through everything!
When you lock the keys in the house. 

Sisters, Bevans, Ngos, Cannons, Us, BTW Look up Tom Ngo on the I'm a Mormon Videos
So this was a stressful week indeed! Lots of walking as to the fact Elder Slade doesn't have a bike!
video

Elder Slade
5'8
Glasses
Saint George
Tennis
Born in Bountiful
Like peanut butter.....a lot
Waiting for a visa to go to Angola Africa and speak Portuguese


Kai and Matthew are doing really well, they were totally bragging about their baptismal dates to people, it was refreshing. I laughed.

And now for tales of the crazy man.
We were walking down a street and there was a guy who kept yelling "Have you every seen anything like that?.... A GNOME! PAINTING!!!! WITH A PAINTBRUSH! Have you seen anything like that dude?!?" I had to sit down for a while...

Anyways, life is good! Love you all!

Church is true!

Gnomes are against finger painting!

Elder Rollins
Morning Workout.  Cause ...BENCHIN

Elder Brown, Chad Cannon, Elder Rollins
How is my favorite missionary this week? Good.
I hope you are happy and healthy!   Yep.
So I can't wait to hear about the new companion. He is cool.
Are you being nice to him?  Yes. 
Teaching him lots?  Yes.
How is the training gig going for you?  Good
Were you overwhelmed?  No not really, I saw it coming. I just had a feeling AND my contacts are working pretty well I guess!  (haha)  He meant his eye contacts are working so he saw it coming.  Oh brother. 
Are you ready for this? Yes ma'am. 
What exactly does a district leader do?  Nothing.  Teaches a meeting, gathers numbers, I get the easy job. 
So how is Matthew? He is doing really well.  
I have been worried about him this week.  Satan is going to get after him isn't he?  Warn the poor man.  Yes Satan is after him and I told him that already. 
How old is he?  34
Does he have a family? Yes he does.   
How about Kai?  How is he doing?  When is his baptism date.  Kai is doing well. His baptism date is March 7th.  
Who else are you currently teaching? Not anyone too solid.
All you talk about are the crazy people you meet. Are there any sane people in California?   No. And I guess they sent me here, so no, there are none.  Viva la loco!
Are you busy today?  Short letter.  Yes, busy.
Tell your new companion that I am sorry you are so messy.  Tell him I tried.  HEY! Mine is the only made bed thank you very much! And I did all the dishes, and deep cleaned the floor. And it's entirely your fault that I can't stand the mess.  (And that made me the happiest of all!)

Elder Rollins
The front of our apartment
The District, Elder Brown, Elder Justensen, Elder Bailey, Sister Riches and Sister Baker, Elder Pixton, Elder Schwindaman and Elder Rollins

Monday, February 2, 2015

Another Email Another Week

Well well, here we stand, the month of February, and it feels like summer here already, I can't even wear my fluffy pj's to bed, bummer. But the work moves on, so this week was stressful and I will tell you why, but first an update on Matthew! Oh man he is 24 karat gold, he drove himself to church, lookin like a member already and stayed
all three hours, then after said, "I feel like I am home, thanks guys for taking me home" I almost cried, but that's not manly, so I didn't. So yes, he is super excited. Kai also has a baptismal date in March, oh I have waited so long to see someone in white! So naturally we were super excited this week, exhausted, but excited. We also
referred two very promising young fellas to the singles ward elders! So the blessings are a raining! 

Now I have to tell this story cause it is killing me. This is a story about a hero, named Hunter! He told this story in testimony meeting yesterday, and I was stunned. You will see why.

When Hunter was in fifth grade the missionaries came to his mom's house, she was a heavy smoker and had all sorts of drug problems. She invited them in and they shared their message. She continued to meet with them and eventually she and Hunter were baptized. Hunter loves to come to church. One day his mom told him she had a really bad sickness called cancer, and she was going to need his help (it's terminal stage 4) Hunter has been helping her ever since, He has watched his mother go from being perfectly healthy, to needing help getting the sheets off her bed. He has been bouncing between his house and "Grandmas" (god-mother) He knows his mom is going to die soon, but she will be in heaven. He has been coming to church by himself for the past year and
loves being a deacon, he knows the church is true.

He is a hero.

That little man has faith. He has enough faith that he knows his mom can be healed, but he also has enough faith in God that he is ok with her dying. Because he KNOWS he will see her again. We wrote him a note telling him how much we respected him.  That 12 year old is the epitome of being humble. This scripture is how I describe him best, and it's a quality I have been working on and will continue to work on.

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
D&C 122:7-9

Oh yes transfers were this week I'm not moving anywhere, Elder Brown is going to be my zone leader, hehehe. I don't know who my new comp is as I am now training and a district leader. They dumped double duty on me.  Thus the stressful week.  I would much prefer being a regular missionary, but I have been chosen and the Lord doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

Hold the faith, return with Honor. Love you lots!

Elder Rollins

How is Matthew doing? Bueno
Still on track to be baptized? Jes
Did he come to church this week? Si
How are the others you are teaching? Fantastic!!
When did you feel inspired this week? When Hunter bore his testimony!
Were any of the Pasadena missionaries transferred? Yes, Elder Brown and sister Baker
How is your health? More swoll than a bull
How is the weather? It ain't cold
How are your clothes? Hehe funny story, the members who do my laundry call me Red, because I left a red pen in my shirt pocket and they uh, washed it with a bunch of my white shirts.  Hehe. Sorry mom.
When did you laugh this week?  When they told me I had left a pen in the pocket. 
How is the 40 day fast going?  Tricia's family read your letter talking about the fast and decided to do their own fasts.  We are going to start our family on a 40 day fast tonight at FHE. Good! That's awesome! Glad that all the ideas that aren't mine are
inspiring! Hehe!


Here is some of our follow up conversation.  

Your Spanish is coming along well I see.  Did you really stain your shirts?  Gracias! Si. No Bueno! 
So are they pink?  Yea. they kinda look like candy canes.  They are in mint condition!
Funny.  How many did you ruin? I dunno maybe 4. 

I am grateful that he is in a place where he can shop for his own shirts.  Except he reminded me that I haven't sent his new debit card yet.  So I guess he will look like a candy cane for a while.  Dingbat.